Grassland Animals

Class: Mammalia: Mammals Diet: Leaves, buds, fruits
Order: Artiodactyla: Even-toed Ungulates
Size: body:3 - 4 m (9 3/4 - 13 ft), tail: 90 cm - 1.1 m (35 1/2 in - 3 1/2 ft)
Family: Giraffidae: Giraffes Conservation Status: Lower risk - Conservation dependent
Scientific Name: Giraffa camelopardalis  Habitat: savanna
Range: Africa, south of the Sahara

Size of GiraffeThe giraffe, with its long legs and its amazingly long neck, when erect stands up to 3.3 m (11 ft) at the shoulder and nearly 6 m (19 1/2 ft) at the crown. Its characteristic coloration of a light body and irregular dark spots is very variable, both geographically and between individuals; some animals may be almost white or black, or even unspotted. Both male and female have skin-covered horns, one pair on the forehead and sometimes a smaller pair farther back, on the crown. Some animals have yet another small horn, or bump, between these pairs. The tail ends in a tuft of long hairs. Range of Giraffe Gregarious animals, giraffes usually live in troops of up to 6, sometimes 12, and may occasionally gather in larger herds. A troop consists of females and their offspring, led by a male. Males fight for possession of females, wrestling with their heads and necks. The troop ambles around its territory, feeding mostly in the early morning and afternoon on the foliage, buds, and fruits on the top of acacia and thorn trees. The giraffes may also eat grass, other plants, and grain crops. At midday, giraffes rest in shade and at night lie down for a couple of hours or rest standing. Females give birth to a single offspring, rarely twins, after a gestation of over a year -- usually 400 to 468 days. Births invariably occur at first light. The young is suckled for 6 to 12 months and continues to grow for 10 years. 


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